Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day has past summer is officially over!

Bad news, summer is done. We can now look forward to 7 straight months of cold. I usually have a constant runny nose from September to April, I can't wait for that. And for the people that like fall, I hate you. You probably never slipped and fell on wet leaves before.

On the last day of summer I did one of my favorite things. Drink buckets of beer by the waterfront. Then went to the North End for dinner. A good way to end the summer.

However, there is a Russian tradition that is even a better way to close summer than drinking buckets of beer. In involves floating on sex toys down a river.

LOSEVO, Leningrad Oblast — Athletes and thrill seekers converged at the Losevo Rapids on the Vuoksa River on Saturday, about 82 kilometers northwest of St. Petersburg, for the sixth annual Bubble Baba Challenge — a wet and wild ride on inflatable women.

“This is one of my favorite events of the summer. I’ve been rafting most of my life, but the people and the atmosphere make this competition special. It’s more of a crazy celebration and party [than a sporting event],” said Kirill, a participant from St. Petersburg who admitted he had no serious ambitions of winning.

“I’m just hoping to finish this year. Last year I got swept away by the rapids and got washed into the lake so I didn’t make it over the finish line. But this year I’m ready.”

Spectators were full of giggles as they photographed the competitors walking around in wet suits, life vests, and helmets, with their “women” — inflatable sex toys — in tow.

“It’s a very amusing event,” said this year’s champion Vladimir Zaitsev. “I was an organizer during the inaugural event in 2003, but was invited to participate in 2004. I had never rafted or anything before, so that first year was a total rush for me. I’ve raced every year since.”

Zaitsev also won the event in 2006.

This year, Zaitsev and his doll, “Hedgehog in the Fog,” again took first place with a time of 2 minutes 45 seconds. Sergei Ushkov and “Submariner” finished next nine seconds later, followed by third-place winners Nikolai Novosyolov and “Snow White” clocking in at 2:59.

Those Russians have it right. Great way to close out the summer.

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